SADA Congratulates Successful SA Candidates

Posted on May 21, 2019


The South Australian Dairyfarmers’ Association (SADA) congratulates all successful candidates in the weekend’s federal election.

The successful candidates from both the House of Representatives and the Senate have a duty to represent the best interests of our state and SADA urges a measured and considered approach to all issues that impact on farmers.

Notably, continued calls for a second Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan or alternatively for the Plan to be scrapped, corrode confidence. The issues that surround the MDB Plan are understood and there will be little to be gained from such an inquiry or commission other than uncertainty and expense.

The cost of energy and security of energy supply is also up for consideration. There is little doubt that the cost of energy arising out of the operation of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and the security of the National Energy Market (NEM) has had a substantial effect on dairy farmers. The price of power, which is predicted to fall slightly over the next couple of years still represents a substantial impost on the cost of doing business.

Australia’s commitment to its international climate responsibilities also are important and the imposition of targets on sectors across the board will impact differently. The mining sector can of course make a more substantial contribution than the primary sector under current arrangements.

The challenge for the returned government is to offer a policy which meets its international obligations as which sets a reliable framework moving into the future. While SADA supports the careful management and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions Australia is a tiny contributor on the global scale and Australia should not be hamstrung by a climate policy that demands more from Australia than it does other countries.

Quotes Attributable to John Hunt SADA President

“I congratulate Prime Minister Morrison on his win. His victory reflects a public that wants stability for the future.

“The primary sector in South Australia is vitally concerned in matters that are overseen by the Commonwealth, particularly regarding the matter of water supply integrity.

“The integrity of the Murray Darling Basin Plan has been repeatedly challenged from a number of quarters, not least of which was a Royal Commission, and the time has come for the plan to be allowed to work. Further calls for inquiries and the like will only serve to erode confidence, particularly in regional communities. The plan was a very long time in development and should be supported.

“Canberra also must create a climate change policy that will set rules that business and the community can rely on. This means policies that do not adversely impact on Australian farms particularly in a competitive world.”

List of Coalition pledges to Dairy Nationally

The Coalition pledged during the election campaign to commit $22 million in projects to benefit the dairy sector, including over $1 million in initiatives to be delivered by Australian Dairy Farmers, the national representative dairy body.

These include:

  • $560,000 to facilitate the development of a new dairy industry trading platform;
  • $300,000 to develop a real time dairy payment system and supply chain information sharing capacity using blockchain technology; and
  • $150,000 to develop with processors a simple standard form contract that incorporates requirements of the industry’s mandatory code of conduct.
  • Dairy farmers are looking for and expect leadership from industry representatives as well as government. ADF stands ready and welcomes the opportunity to work with the government on delivering these projects and we are confident that there will be positive benefits for the dairy farmers as well as the wider industry.
  • $10 million to support dairy farmers investing in more energy efficient equipment to reduce energy costs.
  • $8.1 million to extend the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) agriculture unit, a significant boost to the $2.7 million outlined in the 2020 budget;
  • $3 million in grants to assist farmer groups to establish farm cooperatives and other collaborative business models;
  • $500,000 to services body Dairy Australia to continue its financial and legal advice service to farmers, and to improve legal and financial literacy for contract negotiations with processors; and
  • and a dairy industry specialist position within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) agriculture unit.

Other projects that the Coalition committed to include:

  • $10 million to support dairy farmers investing in more energy efficient equipment to reduce energy costs.
  • $8.1 million to extend the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) agriculture unit, a significant boost to the $2.7 million outlined in the 2020 budget;
  • $3 million in grants to assist farmer groups to establish farm cooperatives and other collaborative business models;
  • $500,000 to services body Dairy Australia to continue its financial and legal advice service to farmers, and to improve legal and financial literacy for contract negotiations with processors; and
  • and a dairy industry specialist position within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) agriculture unit.